Sustainable living begins at home

Sustainable living begins at home

Having grown up in a middle-class household, it was common for us to reuse the things which were previously used or owned by our siblings or cousins. From toys to clothes, books to school bags, almost everything was being handed down to younger siblings or cousins.

Having our birthdays in the same month, I and my siblings did not have the privilege of getting separate gifts for our birthdays. So, sharing came naturally to us. In fact, a combined gift gave us the advantage to choose a more expensive toy, game, or book which we could well co-own with our siblings. We grew up in simpler times with little peer pressure to own the latest brands and objects. Looking back, I realise that these practices helped in strengthening family relationships, were economical, and contributed to sustainable living.

On Wednesday, May 15th, 2024, United Nations is celebrating 30th anniversary of the International Year of the Family, with focus on the theme ‘Families and Climate Change’. 

This International Day of Families, let us revisit a few of these and more sustainable practices that are relevant even in present time.

Creating awareness of the effects of climate change on families and the essential role that households can play in taking action against it is the goal of the 2024 International Day of Families. We can encourage climate action with education, information access, training, and community involvement through family and community projects. 

The family is our closest and smallest sphere of influence. If every member of the family adopts choices for sustainable living, the impact can be manifold. Infact the positive effect can influence the future generations as a great deal of our household practices and behaviours are taught to us by our families.

I recently came across a fascinating representation, The Buyerarchy of Needs, by Sarah Lazarovic.

I have found this representation extremely impressive and for those of us who are wondering from where to begin their journey of sustainable practices, the base of the pyramid could be a good place. So, the next time you begin a project, it may be a favourable idea to sift through the material you already have rather than rushing to the market to buy stuff or ordering material online.

A few eco-friendly practices that many households use include reusing old towels as mops, sheets, and old clothes as cleaning rags. Reusing packaging boxes and carrying a reusable cloth shopping bag in your purse and vehicle are some of the other sustainable practices we can adopt. Also buying thoughtfully, mindfully, and only when necessary are healthy habits for sustainable living.

Do share with us in the comments below, what are the things you have adopted for a sustainable living.


16 thoughts on “Sustainable living begins at home

  1. The article took me back to my childhood days and how we as a family practiced sustainability , we also often used old towels to mop floors and we went for picnics where we carried our own picnic baskets and we used cloth napkins instead of paper napkins.
    Some sustainable practices which i follow is that I buy eatables / grocery in less quantity but of good quality , try to first consume it and then only buy again. I also avoid buying items with too much of packaging material.

    1. Thank you for sharing your memories and sustainable practices! It’s heartening to know how these habits from childhood have carried forward into your daily life. Every small step, like using cloth napkins and being mindful of packaging, makes a big difference. Keep up the great work!

  2. Beautifully drafted writeup on the importance of sustainability. We require to practice it for a better future. Thank you for sharing Ma’am.

  3. Absolutely! Sustainable living starts with the choices we make in our daily lives, and home is where we have the most control over those choices. From reducing energy consumption to minimizing waste and choosing eco-friendly products, every action we take at home contributes to a more sustainable future for our planet.

    1. It’s wonderful to know Smriti that you recognize the importance of our daily choices. Thank you for your commitment to sustainability!

  4. Absolutely! Sustainable living starts with the choices we make in our own homes. From reducing energy consumption to using eco-friendly products, every small change can make a big difference in preserving our planet for future generations.

  5. Beautiful write up complementing the theme ‘Families and Climate Change’.
    “We have not inherited this earth from our forefathers- we have borrowed it from our children.”

    I practice sustainability by saving fuel, adopting car pool, walking to cover short distance, climbing stairs rather than escalator, saving electricity and power by using solar energy to the maximum, binding unused papers left in the notebooks to form a new notebook, at the end of the session, using the back side of used paper, decreasing margin, managing space, and optimizing paper usage.

    1. Thank you Manisha for your thoughtful comment and for sharing your sustainable practices!

  6. The article reminded me old days as I have grown up in joint family where instead of buying all the things individually we use to share.
    I am also doing some practice where I can proudly says that I am supporting sustainable living like-
    Carrying my own bag for grocery shopping, using old towels as a duster, making organisers using delivery cartons, using RO waste water for watering plants, packing gifts with old newspaper etc.

    1. Thank you Priyanka for sharing your memories and sustainable practices! It’s inspiring to see how you incorporate sustainability into daily life. Keep up the great work!

  7. This article on sustainability is truly inspiring Ma’am. It reminds us of how important small, everyday actions are in contributing to a healthier planet. From minimizing waste to choosing eco-friendly products, every step counts.
    Some of the things that I do are- buying mindfully, reusing old clothes, reusing water for washing vegetables for watering the plants etc.

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